Friday, January 4, 2013
Restaurant review: Rodeo Goat provides a new perspective on the burger
And they've got guts to move in next to Fred's.
FORT WORTH It takes some guts to put your new burger place a couple of blocks from Fred’s Texas, a Fort Worth mecca for burgers, but the Rodeo Goat did just that. The key to being successful so close to the newly remodeled Fred’s is to have really good burgers – and Rodeo Goat has that as well. In fact, this place stands out in the burger arena because of its truly authentic menu (for Fort Worth that is.)
The exterior of the place is odd, almost industrial in look. In fact, we missed it the first time by. But the interior is unique with a rodeo decor with long tables and cattle pens and large pictures of goats framed on the wall (of course). The floors are concrete and the walls are concrete blocks, so the place has more of an ice house bar feel than a burger joint – which is what they were going for. But the patio outside is great with lots of space and rows of yellow clad picnic tables nestled on pea gravel anchored by a large fire pit. The wait staff is typical bar type all dressed in jeans/shorts and t-shirts. All in all a very laid back place.
While the ambience is nothing special, the menu of burgers is. The owners describe it as “not upscale, not pretentious, not cute food.” We counted 14 gourmet burgers on the menu. And this is the part you have to check out. Typically, you will see lots of burger joints with variations using bacon and avocado, but not many places have a burger with peanut butter, carrots and curry like the Ravi Shankar. There are varieties like the Caca Oaxaca, reminiscent of M&O Station Grill and other varieties using turkey and vegetarian patties versus the beef. The idea is not about a messy, greasy burger, but rather a meal centered around a bun. For example, there is an Italian burger that sounds more like it belongs at the old Sardines than it does on a burger menu. Oddly enough, there is no basic cheeseburger on the menu. So it makes it really hard for us to review for this site. But they did have one on the waitress menu, so we got the basic cheeseburger done Rodeo Goat style.
Flavor of Meat: 6 pickles
Juiciness: 6 pickles
Bun Factor: 8 pickles
Sides: 6 pickles
Menu: 10 pickles
Ambiance & Character: 7 pickles
Service: 7 pickles
Price: $9 cheeseburger (with drink & fries)
The beef is all natural and ground in house daily. We were told angus beef by one person and something else by another, so not quite sure about that. The patties are 7oz. — a little smaller than your traditional burger joint. The beef was cooked medium and the temperature was hot. The patty was juicy, but not as flavorful as we like. Probably due to the fact that the menu relies heavily on other items on the burger to complete a taste. So, if the burger was too flavorful, it would detract from the overall goal, which makes sense, but for our purposes, we like a strong flavor from the meat.
The burger is served with a home made “brioche-style” bun that is lightly toasted on a rectangular tray lined with tan tissue. The fries were fresh cut and flavorful, but the portion was a little small. They make many of their condiments in house and serve them in white cups on the side. The pickles are large cuts of sweet dill. Plenty of cheese choices to satisfy. The other gents with us that day tried other burgers and all were very pleased with their order. Each had the same critique, though, a little light on the portion and juice. We call this out because if you are a burger purist, this place may not be your favorite. It is a diet coke place and there are tons (we counted 59 varieties) of beers to choose from.
If you go here, it is for the chance to see a totally new interpretation of the burger. This menu reminds us of a place we hit in Austin a few times a year - Hopdaddy. While Rodeo Goat did not blow us away, it would be a shame not to include them in the Top 10 – so we will.
Pegasus News Content partner - Burger Saturday
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